For the last History Highlight of the summer LHS is time traveling to the close of the nineteenth century when our most recent donation, an 1897 Summer Program, was first printed. In celebration of the first 25 years of the community, the Britton Printing Company in Cleveland published this summary of the many wonders found at Lakeside which included a listing of all programming and events. In the 120 summer seasons since publication, Lakeside has seen its fair share of changes. While the summer styles and dining options may be different, Lakeside has continued to win over generations of visitors with opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere.
Travelers visiting Lakeside in 1897 enjoyed an opening program on Tuesday, July 6th comprised of a 7:30 p.m. illustrated lecture called “A Geological History of the Great Lakes” followed by “Preparation for Ship Canals.” The first week of Assembly Programs included “The Scientific Aspects of Christian Evidences” by Professor Wright as well as a Temperance Day lecture on “The Rum Demon” by Reverend A.C. Dixon, D. D. Evening “Pictures from the Cinematographe” occurred three times that season, bringing “the very best of a wonderful modern invention” to the shores of Lake Erie.
This immaculate 1897 booklet was donated to LHS by John A. McKinney Jr., resident of Lakeside and Hackettstown, New Jersey. Its brand-new appearance makes it difficult to believe that rates at Hotel Lakeside are no longer two dollars a day or that daily admission is more that twenty-five cents. The Heritage Society will be scanning pages of the booklet to provide visitors a closer look this week in the museum. After catching up on the current events happening at Lakeside, make your way over to Heritage Hall to see which programs you might have attended 120 summer seasons ago.
As we start week nine of the Lakeside season the Heritage Society would like to thank all those who have contributed to our “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit at Heritage Hall. Your generous donations have allowed all generations of museum guests to connect with each other and reminisce about the “good ole days” of childhood. This week LHS is adding to the exhibit with another intergenerational item: an original 1948 Highlights for Children magazine.
More than one billion Highlight for Children magazines have been printed since the first publication in 1946. Creators Caroline Clark Myers and Garry Cleveland Myers met while teaching illiterate soldiers in the military, where Caroline had been the first female educator hired by the United States Army. The pair married and began illustrious careers as pioneers in the field of elementary education, teaching parents and educators alike while at Case Western Reserve University. The Myers then spent twelve years working for Children’s Activities and co-authoring a number of parenting books. When the time came to retire, they decided instead to apply their extensive experience and knowledge to the development of a new children’s magazine. Thus Highlights for Children began with the slogan “Fun with a Purpose,” tales of “Goofus and Gallant” and the famous “Hidden Pictures” challenge.
The flagship Highlights for Children magazine is now published out of Columbus, Ohio along with a number of new subscription-based book clubs for children of all ages. In addition to the original magazine, Highlights company produces Highlights Hello, for ages 0 to 2 years old, Highlights High Five, for preschoolers and Highlights Bilingue for Spanish and English speaking audiences. Our November 1948 edition of Highlights magazine was donated to the Heritage
Society by LHS volunteer and Port Clinton resident, Mary Ann Robbs, as part of a larger collection of educational materials from the 1940s to the 1960s.
The Heritage Society will continue to develop the “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit into the fall, so it is not too late to make your own contribution or stop by to check out the rest of the collection at the Heritage Hall museum.
In the Lakeside Heritage Society returns to highlight our “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit with the addition of a few vintage Raggedy Ann pieces.
Nearly every Lakesider has heard of Raggedy Ann, but did you know she has a brother named Raggedy Andy? Cartoon artist and author Johnny Gruelle introduced the Raggedy Ann Stories in 1918 after watching his daughter Marcella play with a homemade doll his mother had given to his sister decades before. Gruelle developed his famous doll brand by combining the names two of his favorite poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant Annie.” The Indiana based author wrote one new book each year for the two decades following his first publication, including Raggedy Andy Stories in 1920. In each brilliantly colored edition Gruelle lovingly referred to the adventurous siblings as “kindly rag dolls” with red yarn hair and triangles noses.
Our first artifact is a children’s book, Raggedy Ann In the Magic Book, written by Johnny Gruelle and published by the Bobs-Merrill Company in 1961. In this tale, Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, with “their cotton stuffed heads filled with pleasant thoughts,” follow the path to the Tumbling Brook where they meet a funny creature called a Fuzzywhump. Each chapter depicts their adventures with this Fuzzywhump with imaginative illustrations in bold, bright hues. Unlike some of the earlier editions, which were illustrated by Johnny Gruelle himself, this publication was embellished with drawings by his son, Worth.
In 1997, Raggedy Ann was brought back to life with the production of her own U.S. postage stamp, and in 2002 she was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. With the book, Lakeside Heritage Society will be including small ornamental Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls. Each piece of the Raggedy Ann addition was donated by Lakeside Heritage Society volunteer, Gretchen S. Curtis. Visit Heritage Hall this week to view our newly renovated “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit as it continues to grow. If you would like to donate a vintage toy or book, please contact LHS Manager Dakota Harkins or stop by the Archives.
This week LHS is highlighting a unique artifact already on exhibit at Heritage Hall Museum: our Chautauqua industrial art desk. Manufactured in 1913, the desk has a green chalkboard on one side of a lift-top table, and a map of the USA on the other that shows a ranking of each state’s top products during that year. Inside, lessons and drawing instructions are written on a green, movable scroll. Our LHS chautauqua desk was donated by Jack and Diana Craig in 2002.
Chautauqua desks were first used as tools for educating Sunday school teachers, supporting the ideals of the popular Chautauqua movement that grew out of Chautauqua, New York in the late 1800s. They were later manufactured by Louis E. Myers & Co. of Valparaiso, Indiana, and sold door-to-door. More than one million desks were sold by 1913.
In 1972 Valparaiso Post-Tribune journalist Neal Boyer described the desks, saying “the Chautauqua Industrial Art Desk was an ingenious item. A folding wooden frame opened into an L-shaped chalkboard surface. Its outstanding feature was a scroll containing illustrations and facts on various topics.”
“When James O. Cox, a former salesman and later plant manager, first started selling desks in 1906, the cost was $3.75...they tried to expand their operation in the late '20s and early '30s. With the stock market crash and the Depression, the once-successful company folded. The last desk was made in 1929 and the factory closed a year later.”
The creation of the Chautauqua Movement in 1874 brought about a shift towards education and culture in the U.S. These art desks prepared children for their future vocations, but were also vital for developing self-expression and play, which educators realized were crucial to children’s imagination and growth. Today these antiques are scattered across the country in homes, furniture stores and right here in Lakeside at the Heritage Hall Museum. To find out more about the growth of the Chautauqua Movement, attend the Heritage Society “Historic Chautauqua Movement” seminar on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. at the Fountain Inn Aigler Room.
This spring the Lakeside Heritage Society Recycle Sale experienced a record outpouring of participation and support from the Lakeside Community. A great number of donated pieces found new homes where they will continue to help make Lakeside memories. Before the sale began, an LHS volunteer stumbled upon one item that we decided would be a priceless addition to our “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit. That item is a vintage “yo-yo” clown doll, which will go on display this week at Heritage Hall.
Sometimes our homemade treasures are overlooked when we think about important pieces of the past, but those toys are often part of our fondest childhood memories. Historically, handcrafted toys like our “yo-yo” doll were constructed from familiar materials and household items that came in many shapes and forms. While no one is quite sure when “yo-yo” clown dolls first started gaining popularity, patterns began popping up around in the United States as early as the 1920s.
The “yo-yo” name comes from the individual circular pieces of fabric that are strung together to make the arms, legs and torso of colorful, huggable clowns. “Yo-yo” pieces were also used to make vibrant quilts, decorative garlands and flower brooches. Our lively “yo-yo” clown doll has sports a characteristic cone hat to cover golden yarn hair and is made up of more than ninety individual two inch fabric circles. Come visit Heritage Hall this week to look at some of Lakeside community’s historic treasures and see our newest additions to the “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit.
Lakeside Heritage Society is currently accepting community donations for our Labor Day Weekend Recycle Sale. For more information, please contact Manager Dakota Harkins or stop by the Archives.
In this week’s addition to the “Toys of Yesteryear” exhibit at Heritage Hall, the Lakeside Heritage Society reminisces on the colorful cartoons and nursery rhymes of the past with a pair of children’s linenette picture books.
Full of cherubic children and colorful farm animals, both the Nursery Rhymes and Animal Friends books exhibit the characteristic cartoons of linen graphic artists in the 1930s and 1940s. Popularized by the Merrill Publishing Company out of Chicago, Illinois, linenette books often only acknowledged the illustrators, not the authors, due to their strong emphasis on the cartoons. The artists for the Heritage Hall artifacts, George Trimmer and Florence Salter, were two of the more popular Merrill Publishing Company illustrators of the era. By coupling bold paintings with memorable moral rhymes, the Merrill linenettes set the standard for read-aloud children’s books in the 20th century.
Both linenette books were donated to Heritage Hall by Gretchen S. Curtis, Lakeside Heritage Society education volunteer. The vibrant 1939 edition of Animal Friends, No. 3445 explores daily farm life with paintings of playful kittens, swimming ducks and a watchful mother hen. Lakesiders young and old will recognize familiar children’s songs and poems like “Humpty Dumpty” and “Mary, Mary” from the 1941 Nursery Rhymes, No. 3467. Make your way over to Heritage Hall and see how many other nursery rhymes you remember from our vintage book collection!